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Police inspector kills civilian in Abuja beer parlour

“The officer drank burukutu and threatened to kill someone before he shot Mr. John multiple times without provocation,” a witness said.

• October 3, 2020
Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu
Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu

An inebriated police officer opened fire at a beer parlour in Abuja on Saturday, instantly killing a young man who had done nothing to enrage him, witnesses told Peoples Gazette.

Samson John, a resident of Apo-Dutse, was already dead before he could get to the hospital after being shot by Samanja Johnson, a police inspector who visited the Abuja suburb Saturday morning.

The incident happened around 9:00 a.m, witnesses said.

The Gazette heard how Mr. John was murdered while having his breakfast at a joint in the suburb. Shortly thereafter, the inspector arrived at the same joint, popularly called “burukutu” joint, with a service pistol, witnesses said.

“The officer drank burukutu and threatened to kill someone before he shot Mr. John multiple times without provocation,” a witness told the Gazette. Burukutu is a combination of grains and Guinea corn that could easily be brewed into alcohol. 

Ishaya Babuwa, a community chief, said they were having a meeting in the palace when commotion broke out that an inspector had fatally shot somebody.

“How can a police officer shoot somebody? Was there any incident? He was just walking around and he was just shooting anyhow,” Mr. Babuwa said.

The community leader said residents tried to disarm the heavily drunk police officer from him before Mr. John was fatally shot.

Other witnesses said Mr. John was shot three times by the inspector. He was ferried to Garki General Hospital where he was confirmed dead.

Youth in the area who were outraged by Mr. John’s killing moved to unleash mayhem of their own on the community, but they were contained by a contingent of police officers promptly deployed to the area.  

Mr. Johnson has since been taken into custody. A spokesman for the police in Abuja did not return multiple requests seeking comments Saturday evening.

The incident came as Nigerians were reporting multiple attacks linked to police officers from other parts of the country. 

In Delta and Rivers, police officers were reported to have shot dead unarmed citizens over mild or no issues. 

On Saturday evening, Vice-President Atiku Abubakar called on President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately check the growing violent inclinations of police officers, especially members of the dreaded special anti-robbery squad, SARS.

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